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WESTROM China Sourcing Case Studies

WESTROM sources electronic and mechanical components from China for small and medium sized US Electronics companies.

WESTROM has successfully designed, sourced and delivered a variety of industrial electronic parts and products, plus a number of light industrial parts and products from China.

The parts and products fall into these categories:
  • New & Open Market Electronic Components
  • OEM & ODM Assemblies & Engineered Parts
  • OEM & ODM Industrial Electronic Products
  • Displays, Switches & Keypads
  • Light Mechanical, Plastics & Packaging
  • Light Industrial Products

  • We source materials and subassemblies & full build for your company, adapted to your business requirements.

    The following case studies highlight a few of the parts and products WESTROM has sourced, the financial benefit from China sourcing and challanges that were successfully addressed.

    Relays — 40-60% Cost Reduction

    Project Scope
    • Signal, power, solid state and latching relays
    • Hermetically sealed
    • Cross-referenced and identified specific Chinese parts and vendors to that were equivalent to US part designs
    • Prepared, facilitated submission and secured US UL certification
    Key Challenges
    • Translation of Chinese specifications for US specifications
    • Establishment of the Chinese plants and parts in the UL file
    • Ongoing management of Chinese production to US specifications
    Project Results
    • 40-60% cost reduction, depending upon specific part
    • Maintained quality and established Chinese supplier UL certification

    Keypads and Touch Screens — 30-40% Cost Reduction

    Project Scope
    • Membrane keypad switches and touch screens
    • ODM – Original Design and Manufacture, e.g. completed the part's design engineering to meet customer requirements
    • Identified suitable Chinese manufacture
    • Developed the Chinese Manufacture's quality systems and capabilities to meet the customers specifications
    Key Challenges
    • Characterizing the engineering design, whist the customer's specifications evolved over the project timeline, e.g. the specifications and requirements where dynamic
    • Ensuring that the design and sample qualification was completed, whilst maintaining project timelines
    Project Results
    • 30-40% cost reduction
    • 75% lead-time reduction from 12 weeks to 3 weeks

    Precision Current Transformer Coil — 20-30% Cost Reduction

    Project Scope
    • Completed reverse design engineering from customer's in-house part
    • Characterized and improved the electrical and physical design specifications
    • Identified and qualified Chinese suppliers for the components and part assembly
    • Completed manufacturing process characterization
    • Developed the manufacturing processes at the Chinese vendors
    • Ongoing management of Chinese supply base
    Key Challenges
    • High tolerance specifications required parts to be matched sets of 3 at:
      • ± 2% DC resistance
      • ± 1.0 H inductance match
    • Exacting count of windings and coil wire length
    Project Results
    • 20-30% cost reduction
    • Created part design and standardized part specifications across multiple finished products
    • $80k-120k working capital avoidance from outsourcing production rather than machine acquisition and in-house capacity development

    General Wound Magnetics — 50-60% Cost Reduction

    Project Scope
    • China supplier identification and qualification
    • Tooling design, development and Chinese tooling manufacture
    • Testing & quality procedure development, plus implementation at the Chinese supplier
    Key Challenges
    • Chinese tooling sub-contractor capability and management, i.e. developed the Chinese tooling vendor to resolve precision and capability issues
    Project Results
    • 50-60% cost reduction over the US, depending upon part type
    • Consistent delivery of US quality from our Chinese source, versus non-WESTROM Chinese sources

    LCD Modules & Panels — 30-40% Cost Reduction

    Project Scope
    • Character and graphic LCD panels/modules, CTN-LCD modules, TAB modules and COG modules
    • Identification of a Chinese supplier and off-the shelf Chinese part that meets the customer's specified LCD size, lines, power and I/O specifications
    • Design customization of a off-the shelf Chinese parts to meet customer specifications
    Key Challenges
    • Matching customer requirements to standard Chinese manufacturing processes and product lines or to customized Chinese product lines
    Project Results
    • 30-40% cost reduction over equivalent US parts
    • Consistent China vendor quality and delivery performance over non-WESTROM Chinese vendors

    Certified Electrical Enclosures — 15-25% Landed Cost Reduction

    Project Scope
    • Design of a North American Electrical Manufactures Association (NEMA) metal electrical enclosure
    • Identification of Chinese suppliers and NEMA certification of the assembly
    • Design of the tooling and oversight of tooling manufacture by Chinese tooling suppliers
    Key Challenges
    • Identification and development of a Chinese supplier with sufficient capability to meet the NEMA equipments, whist maintaining cost competitiveness
    Project Results
    • 50% reduction in tooling cost
    • 15-25% landed cost reduction over equivalent US parts

    China Manufacturing Services

    • Midsize US based electronics company
    • Market product price decline of 600%+ over two years
    • Rapidly increasing quality, price and delivery performance from Asian competitors
    • Accelerating market share decline
    Short-Term Solution
    • Researched and located subcontractors in China to rapidly reduce manufacturing costs; transitioned production to China sub-contractors over 2 years
    • Managed, trained and followed up with sub-contractors ensuring quality and delivery requirements were met
    Long-Term Solution
    • Concurrently developed a new in-house China manufacturing plan and capability over 1 year
    • Hired and trained local technical and managerial staff to build product at the new manufacturing plant using modern manufacturing process, i.e. lean, total quality management (TQM) and theory of constraints (TOC)
    • Transitioned production from China sub-contractors to in-house China manufacturing plant
    Project Results
    • Zero to full in-house China manufacturing production in three years